I have recently married and moved 100 miles away from my ex partner. When I moved my ex partner agreed to meet half way to do the hand overs for our daughter, however they are now saying its costing them too much in petrol and they want me to collect my daughter on friday (200 miles round trip) and then return her on Sunday again with a 200 mile round trip.
I am going to submit a c100 very soon and was wondering if anyone had experience of the courts making orders which stated parents meet halfway for the hand overs even if one party refuses. We both don''t work and I am struggling as I get no benefits as my new partner works, also I can only really afford the £200 court fee for the c100 and as I get no legal aid I cant afford a mediator.
the difficulty is how do you enforce this? if you ex says they can''t afford it, they court can''t force them into a car and make them go.
What are your ex''s circumstances? do they work? If you are not working at present, are you able to pay any maintenance to support your daughter?
How often do you have contact?
I don''t think that goingto court is going to be your best bet here. i think you might do better to try to negotiate with your ex. Some options to consider:
- Could your ex do some, but less than half, of the travel? (e.g collect your daughter on a Sunday every other contact, or every third contact, or meet up somewhere which means you do 2/3 of the drive and s/he does 1/3,rather than spliting the travel 50/50)
- would it be possible for you to stay with friends or family and spend some ofthe contacts local to where your daughter lives? It would reduce the travel costs, and would also potentially improve your daughter''s quality of contact as she would not be stuck in the car for 6-8 hours. You might also consider having some ofthecotnacts as shorter, loal contacts. e.g. is you see her every weekend, you could have one weekend when you have her Fri-Mon, (involving 400 miles driving) and one where you travel down to spend Saturday with her (200 miles for you, none for her)
If you travel to her rather than her coming to you, it may also be possible for you to consider cheaper methods of transport such as coaches, for at least part of the journey.
-would it be possible to have slightly fewer weekend contacts and have slightly more time in holidays in half terms? Again, this may result in better quality contact for your daughter as she would be able tospend longer with you, and the amount of travelling she undertakes will be less.
If the bottom line is that you ex cannot afford to travelm then a court is not going to make her.
A court *could* make an order that said your ex is to make your daughter available for you to collect from her home on a riday night, and that you are to make her available for your ex to collect from your home on the Sunday night, but I am not at all confident that they will actually do so in the situation you describe, and trying to force this is likely to risk making the relationship between the two of you worse, which wil have a knock on effect on your daughter.
is your husband/wife able to help at all? longer term, are you and your spouse likely to be able tomove to be a bit closer to your daughter?